Mt. Merapi Hazard Analysis & Volcano Status Report

Hazard map assessment of Mount Merapi, Central Java, Indonesia using remote sensing

Last update: January 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm by By 

Author : David Harris, IGES department, Aberystwyth University, Wales

As the global population is predicted to reach 7 billion people by 2012, land pressures and rapid population growth is resulting in many more communities living within danger zones of natural hazards, a pattern particularly seen around volcanoes. This thesis will emphasise the impact of volcanoes on populations using the example of Mount Merapi, Indonesia. Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in Java and has persistent minor eruptions, but according to volcanologists Mount Merapi is heavily overdue a large-scale eruption which could potentially put over 1.1 million people at risk. This thesis begins with a review of published papers and a description of Mount Merapi’s geological history, with a particular focus on its recent eruptions. To better assess Mount Merapi’s threat to the communities that are in close proximity to the summit the thesis uses GIS software to produce a risk map. The risk map is then used as a basis for further analysis on the potential impact in the event of a major eruption. The thesis specifically examines the risk on the basis of current population (e.g. Kemiren, a town with 103,777 people at a risk value site of 10.5) and social vulnerability (e.g. Ngablak, which has a Social Vulnerability Index value of 0.5 – 1.5 and a risk value varying between 7.5 and 28.5). Lastly, the thesis considers the impact of Merapi’s most recent eruptions in October and November 2010 and recommends some considerations for the future in terms of risk reduction by changes in response times and evacuation procedures.

for the complete analysis, including surveys of the location of volcanoes relative to large population areas, go to: